The Mansfield Mausoleum

In 1909, a group of men came together and put forth the idea that Mansfield needed a mausoleum.  John Weil and R.S. Barr where responsible for this project.  Also on the board of trustees were F. H. Marquis, G. P. Krause and Huntington Brown.  It was said Mansfield needed to keep up with communities like Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Detroit, Columbus, Springfield, Ill, and others and that the mausoleum would “be perpetually cared for and maintained by an endowment fund, which will be placed in the hands of the association of the owners as trustees, the interest of this fund will be sufficient to pay all expenses of keeping up the building for all time.”  The Mansfield Mausoleum Association began selling compartments immediately.


The Mansfield News, 19 JUN 1909


The Mansfield News, 10 JUL 1909

Two years later, in May of 1911, a contract was awarded to Simon Small & Sons to begin work at once on the mausoleum.  John Weil designed the structure, which would hold 480 crypts, and it was located in the southwest part of the Mansfield Cemetery.  Maps indicate it was located in block 34.  A little less than a year later, in April of 1912, the public was invited to view the completed Mansfield Mausoleum.  It was described as an “imposing structure … the exterior being if Bedford limestone and is 86 feet front by 54 feet deep.  The inside is of marble of three different shades.  The interior is lighted by cathedral windows which throw a softened light over the mosaic tile floor and the compartments.”  The structure also included a “large chapel hall from which lead four burial halls on which face the sections of compartments.


Mansfield Cemetery from the WPA Cemetery Maps


Layout of Mausoleum from the WPA Cemetery Maps

The mausoleum was dedicated on April 28, 1912, at which the Rev. G. A. Kienle and Dr. D. J. Meese spoke and music was provided by the Temple Quartet.  A large crowd visited the mausoleum on the rainy Sunday afternoon and hundreds had seen it since it was opened to the public two weeks prior.  The first service to be held in the mausoleum was for John Henry Krause.

Around 1940, the building became a concern of the Mansfield Cemetery Association when the builders ceased to do anything about its upkeep.  According to cemetery caretaker, Jon McGinty in 1962, “The Mansfield Mausoleum Co. … was to have given the Mansfield Cemetery Assn. a $45,000 endowment for it, but the money was not received.”  The Cemetery Association tried to clean up the mausoleum and make repairs, but the cost of a thorough renovation would have been between $40,000 and $60,000 in 1962.  It was decided this was not cost effective and the mausoleum was condemned and razed.  The cemetery provided new burial plots for the deceased in the mausoleum.

No images of the mausoleum are available in the Sherman Room Archives.  If anyone has any they would like to share, please do so on Facebook or submit them through our new Digital Archives site.


What’s in a Name: Russell Karns

In the Sherman Room, there is a collection of cards for the promotion of a Russell Karns from third grade through eighth grade in the Mansfield, Ohio, Public Schools.  Using tools like and other resources available in the Sherman Room, we are able to get a glimpse into the life of Russell.

Birth Records show Russell Elmore Karns was born 07 FEB 1897 in Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio to Jacob Loran Karnes and Cora Belle (Weaver) Karns.[1] [2]  Jacob and Cora were married on 01 JUN 1893 in Columbiana County, Ohio[3] and had one other daughter Marjorie Athena Karns, who was born on 20 AUG 1899.[4]  On 01 NOV 1901, Jacob Loran Karns, who was a popular postal clerk in Mansfield, died of blood poisoning when he was scratched by a brass tack.  According to the Mansfield Daily Shield, he had an impressive funeral at his home at 405 South Main Street.  City postal clerks, including many from out of town, came to pay their respects.[5]  On 15 SEP 1908, Cora married Abraham Hamlin Au[6], whose wife had died 05 JUN 1906 of tuberculosis.[7]  Abraham and Cora had at least one more daughter, Helen Elizabeth in 1910, but she died before turning 1 year old.[8]  The 1910 Census shows Abraham H. Au, Cora B. Au, Helen E. Au, Russell E. Karns and Marjory A. Karns living at 326 W. Fifth Street, Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio.

R Karns 1915

1915 Mansfield High School Annual

M Karns 1918

1918 Mansfield High School Annual

Russel and Marjorie both graduated from Mansfield High School, Russell in 1915 and Marjorie in 1918, and both siblings continued their education.  Russell first went to Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH, and then went on to graduate from The Ohio State University in 1920 with a B. A. in Arts.  Marjorie became a nurse graduating from St. Luke’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH in 1921.

osu 1920

The Makio, 1920 OSU Yearbook

By 1930 Russell had made his way to California.  The 1930 Census shows him living in Redwood City, San Mateo, California with his wife Paula, daughter Dorothy, and sons Russell Jr. and Phil.  The listed occupation for Russell in the Census is mail carrier for the U. S. Postal Service, following in his father’s footsteps.  Russell lived the rest of his life in California, dying in San Mateo on 18 APR 1975.  His body was sent back to Mansfield and he is buried in the Mansfield Cemetery.



[1] Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
[2] U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
[3] Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016.
[4] Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
[5] The Mansfield Daily Shield, 04 FEB 1901, p. 8.
[6] The Mansfield Daily Shield, 16 SEP 1908, p. 2.
[7] The Mansfield Daily Shield, 05 JUN 1906, p. 8.